Freedom of information response

Breastfeeding support

Publication date: 
Thursday 9 April 2020
Request: 

1. Did the council commission a breastfeeding support service (including peer support) in the years 2014-2019? If so, please supply details, including budget (per year) and number of service users accessing the service for each of the years 2014-2019. Please attach a copy of the most recent service specification.

2. If breastfeeding support was not directly commissioned, did the council provide funding for breastfeeding support in the years 2014-2019. If so who provided the service (eg health visiting /midwifery) and please supply details, including budget (per year) and number of service users accessing the service for each of the years 2014-2019.

3. If the council did not commission a breastfeeding support service, did it fund breastfeeding support from lay breastfeeding supporters (non-health professionals), for example from professional breastfeeding counsellors, in the years 2014-2019? Please supply details, including budget (per year) and number of service users accessing the service for each of the years 2014-2019.

Response: 

Community Mums and Dads Service 2014-2015 contract value was £300,000

Community Mums and Dads Service 2015-2016 contract value was £75,000 for 3 months from 1 April 2015-30 June 2015 (Specification attached – Appendix A)

Community Mums and Dads Service July 2015-March 2016 contract value was £217,000 (specification attached – Appendix B)

Community Mums and Dads Service– 1 April 2016- 31 August 2016 Service Specification ‘SCH 2 CMD – Service Spec (v1).’ – Appendix C – As regards the numbers accessing this service, we do not hold this information.

2014-15                                                                                                                                                                

1470 Families were contacted within a month of discharge following the birth of a baby out of a total of 1777 families.

1451 received support via a home visiting service.

2015-16

1603 Families were contacted within a month of discharge following the birth of a baby out of a total of 2023 families.

1230 received support via a home visiting service.

August 2016- August 2017 – Service Gap.

From 2017 to 2019 breastfeeding support has been commissioned as part of an integrated service model for the 0-19 Health Child Programme within a service called Brighter Futures Healthy Families Service. The budget per year for this element of provision was quoted at the start of the contract as £191,827.00

We have not collected the number of service users accessing the service per year and instead record the proportion of women breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks (publically available data). Please see relevant section of the service specification below:

5. UNIVERSAL PLUS

5.1 Service Overview

5.1.1 The Universal Plus Service will identify vulnerable families, provide, deliver and co-ordinate evidence based packages of additional care, including maternal mental health & wellbeing, parenting issues, families at risk of poor outcomes and children with additional health needs.  For example:

‘Rapid responses from the health visitor team when parents need specific expert help, for example with postnatal depression, a sleepless baby, feeding or answering any concerns about parenting’

5.1.2 The Universal Plus Service includes:

  • Peer Support Breastfeeding and Parenting
  • Targeted Support for Vulnerable Parents
  • Weight Management Programme/s
  • Targeted Vision and Hearing screening for 4 – 5 year olds
  • Enuresis – A service for Children and Young People following ERIC guidance
  • Health Reviews for Looked after Children

5.2 Peer Support Breastfeeding and Parenting

5.2.1 Evidence suggests that peer support programmes involving volunteers to support breastfeeding initiation and to increase duration are effective.  It is also best practice to provide universal structured support from professional to families.  This Service Element will be offered where there are problems identified and the mother is willing.

Support Offer

5.2.2 The Peer Support Programme will be evidence-based support, accessible universally using a volunteer and practitioner based model.  A recent review of evidence on peer support identifies some indicators of successful peer-led approaches which Thurrock supports as a principle for the Service.  These may include, but are not limited to the following:

Face-to-face groups run by trained peers who focus on good infant and mother nutrition, emotional support, sharing experiences, education and specific activities such as exercise or social activities. Running groups regularly, such as every week for three months, has been found to work well.

One-to-one support offered through face-to-face or by telephone. This may include a variety of information provision, infant feeding, emotional support, befriending and discussions. This type of one-to-one support may be more likely to result in reciprocal benefits for supporters and be more likely to involve volunteers rather than paid peer support facilitators;

Online platforms such as discussion forums. These have been found to be particularly useful for improving knowledge and reducing anxiety, though people may use them for a limited time.

5.2.3 Need for this Service Element will usually be identified by the Midwife or Health Visitor within two weeks of birth. The Provider shall ensure that they are able to respond quickly to requests for intervention.

5.2.4 The Provider will work with the Brighter Futures: Prevention and Support Service to ensure services are appropriate and seamless for the family with minimal duplication of resource.

5.2.5 It is envisaged that a range of support options will be provided; some of which will include direct interventions by practitioners and/or volunteers, and some which could include peer support groups using social media.

2. Please see Question 1 above.

3. Please see Question 1 above.

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes.  However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information.  Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

Request reference:
FOI 9917